Skip to content

Infectious Disease Outbreak in Gaza Threatens More Deaths than Bombs

WHO’s Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. WHO / Christopher Black

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported today: “Gaza is at a high risk of an explosive outbreak of infectious diseases. Worrying trends are already emerging due to intense overcrowding, disruption of health, water, and sanitation systems. Displaced people living in overcrowded shelters are especially at risk.” Almost 9% of the 1.3 million people living in shelters are already known to have “acute respiratory infections.” Another 6% are classified with diarrhea—and half of them are children aged 0-4 years, whose bodies are especially prone to this infection.

WHO’s Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, posted some details on X: “1.3 million people are currently living in shelters in Gaza. Overcrowding and lack of food, water, sanitation and basic hygiene, waste management and access to medication are resulting in a high number of cases of: acute respiratory infections: 111,000; scabies: 12,000; lice: 11,000; diarrhea of children under 5: 36,000; diarrhea of those 5 and older: 39,000; skin rash: 24,000; impetigo: 2,500; chickenpox: 2,500; jaundice: 1,100.”

Of note, since his list only includes the known and identified cases, it is undoubtedly an undercount. Further, such brutal conditions are exactly where new diseases yet without names are bred. A decision to renew the bombing and instabilities of the first seven weeks will risk many more lives than yet another 14,000 bombing victims.

This post is for paying subscribers only


Already have an account? Sign In